may take different forms, but most recent Presidential Directives affecting national resilience have been either Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPD) or Presidential Policy Directives (PPD). A Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8) from 2011 entitled “National Preparedness” begins by saying:
This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyberattacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. (White House and DHS, 2011)
The Directive calls for the development of a National Preparedness System to guide activities that will enable the nation to achieve the goal of strengthening its security and resilience; for a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness; and for an annual National Preparedness Report to measure progress in meeting the goal. Importantly, the President calls on DHS to embrace systematic preparation against all types of threats, including catastrophic natural disasters.
Preparedness is not synonymous with resilience, but they are related. According to PPD-8, “The term ‘resilience’ refers to the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies” (White House and DHS, 2011). This definition is in keeping with the definition of resilience established by the committee during the course of this study (see Chapter 1). The Directive also recognizes resilience as a characteristic of an individual, community, or nation and that resilience is enhanced through improved preparedness as noted below:
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness, including public outreach and community-based and private-sector programs to enhance national resilience, the provision of Federal financial assistance, preparedness efforts by the Federal Government, and national research and development efforts. (White House and DHS, 2011)
As Box 6.1 shows, an entire series of HSPDs has been issued since September 11, 2001. Although many of these directives are heavily focused on terrorist threats, the preparation and response of communities to terrorist threats contain many of the same elements as preparation for natural hazards. Thus, significant and deliberate overlap exists in the application of HSPDs to both human-made and natural threats. PPD-8 is one that can be broadly applied in this way.